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So, Sully (on his lead) got hold of a small dog who was off lead while out walking :-(


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I'm kicking myself at the moment as I feel this is my fault.  Bear in mind we've had Sully for only 4 weeks.  I wasn't even walking Sully at the time, my wife had taken him for a walk with our 7 year old son.  They came back with my wife in tears because on their way home they'd met a pair of small dogs that were off lead and had run up to Sully and although initially things had gone okay one of the dogs rolled over in front of Sully or something and that caused Sully to react and grab the other dog.  We were initially walking him with a muzzle on, but after a couple of weeks of encounters with quite a lot of dogs that had been peaceful and if anything the other dogs were more reactive, we let our guard down and started walking without the muzzle.  I wish I hadn't.  Of course it had to be my wife walking him when it went wrong.

The other dog owner was very angry and took a photo of my wife and Sully ranting about how Sully is dangerous and should be in a muzzle etc.  Understandable reaction, I'd be angry if a dog went for Sully, but on the other hand I don't let Sully of the lead ever and never allow him to run up to other dogs.

Now my wife is saying she doesn't want Sully as she doesn't trust him.  A knee jerk reaction because she's in shock I know, but she can be very easily influenced by these types of situation.

It's muzzle on again for the time being at least anyway.  Obviously I shouldn't have taken it off off soon, I know that.  I guess it's first time Greyhound owner inexperience.

Damn it! :(

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That other dog was off lead and not restrained.  What if it was a larger dog and had attacked Sully?  That could happen with an off lead dog.  It's the other owner's fault for allowing his dogs to rush up on yours.  No one can assume what a dog will do when approached by a loose dog.  And, size of the dog does not matter.  One of our greys was attacked by Yorkshire Terrier.  He received over 30 bites and punctures up and down his legs.  Sorry, not sorry.  It's not your dog's fault.

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So sorry that this happened. It is the other dogs' owner who is at fault for having off-lead dogs. I hope that owner doesn't cause problems for you. I also hope your wife will calm down and accept and trust Sully again. Good luck.

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If you are contacted by animal control, be sure to insist that the other party gets a citation for each off lead dog if there is a leash law in place.  Your dog was under your wife's control at the time and the other dogs were not under the owner's control as required in most places.  Sully was simply being a dog. 

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Buddy attacked another dog during a spell where we allowed him off lead - not quite the same as your situation since Sully was on the lead and under control but you have that in your favour, while the other dogs were off the lead. 

Now that things have calmed down a bit, get your wife to think about what happened again. Was there a trigger to make Sully respond the way he did? Sometimes mine gets overwhelmed when multiple dogs approach him and he lashes out. Did he draw blood from the other dog? Did she see any puncture marks? Did Sully let go of his own accord? I’m asking because this could be the difference between a real ‘attack’ and a warning for them to keep away. Unfortunately because of the size of greyhounds compared to the floofs that annoy them, it’s not well received by the smaller dogs’ owners who can’t seem to realise that they should share some of the blame by not being able to recall their dog.

Please don’t blame yourself. I think it is a good idea to keep the muzzle on Sully for a while until you can build your trust in him again, and while you are still getting to know him. Get your wife to come with you - it’s a bit like falling off a bike. Pick yourselves up and start again, and if there are two of you walking him, you can watch his body language around other dogs and start to learn when to intervene if necessary. It’s hard to see these gentle and affection dogs when they are roused as they are Jekyll and Hyde creatures and you can’t imagine your beautiful boy hurting someone else’s beloved pet, but it’s important to be able to tell the difference in their reactions as it gives you a better understanding about how to manage them.

There are bandannas and coats that you can buy that say ‘no dogs’ which could help in keeping smaller dogs at bay (as long as the other owners aren’t the ones who yell ‘it’s ok, mine’s friendly!). I chose not to go down that route as I didn’t want people to think he was dangerous, it really was a case of me learning to read Buddy’s body language and remove him from those situations. My husband is much more cautious than me (like your wife, he walks Buddy less often, and rarely around other dogs) and I am still training him not to have a heart attack whenever Buddy approaches another dog :rolleyes:
 

Give Sully a chance, and don’t beat yourselves up. This is a blip and soon it will be a distant memory. It will change how you feel about him for a while and might make you a bit more wary when you’re out on walks, but you will get over it - trust me, we did. Let us know how it goes.

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

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Thanks all.

Yes I understand that it's a tough one when it was the other dogs that were off the lead.  My wife has explained the situation a bit more now.  Apparently the other dogs were spaniel types, so not tiny dogs, but one ran up near to Sully but then lay down on the ground a few metres away.  My wife continued walking along the path (a dirt track in a field to be precise) and she says that Sully was wagging his tail and didn't seem concerned.  She allowed Sully to "meet" the other dog as it lay on the ground, Sully still wagging, but suddenly Sully went for it and had to be pulled off.  My wife says that it didn't appear there were any puncture marks, but the other owner, a man with his wife, was very angry and was shouting at my wife, so things were a bit of a blur obviously and it really shook her up.

I completely realise that the situation was NOT Sully's fault.  It was one of those "situations" where a number of factors come together, but one that we could probably have avoided if we hadn't stopped using the muzzle so soon.  I think maybe we need to speak to a professional about how to reduce Sully's prey drive a bit too as I think this was more of a factor.  He really won;t pay attention to you if he's looking for prey or is very interested in another dog.  At the same time, most of the dogs he meets he just sniffs and then will stand next to completely ignoring them.  I think maybe it was this other dog being on the ground that triggered something.

Sully has met a lot of dogs now and has been okay with most.  We've passed one or two that have snarled or barked at him and aside from a bit of whining Sully will walk on by really well.  There was obviously just some "thing" that happened this time that triggered Sully's reaction.

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1 hour ago, Time4ANap said:

If you are contacted by animal control, be sure to insist that the other party gets a citation for each off lead dog if there is a leash law in place.  Your dog was under your wife's control at the time and the other dogs were not under the owner's control as required in most places.  Sully was simply being a dog. 

Being in the UK our laws don't work the same I don't think, but I don't see how we could be contacted by anyone as they didn't take our details and they don't know us.  I think in the UK it would be a Police matter.

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I'm so sorry this happened and understand how you and your wife feel. I had a similar situation a few years ago walking Sweep on leash when a neighbor's Maltese ran out of its yard. She ended up breaking its leg. (Here's the original post.) We'd had Sweep several years by then, and she lives peacefully with two cats and barely looks at the squirrels in the yard most of the time. But, as they say, outdoors all bets are off and you never know what might trigger that instinct. It did take me a few weeks to feel comfortable walking her again, but I did it because I had to. (And we were fortunate that the neighbors took full responsibility. They even added a gate to their porch, but 4 years later that dog still escapes every chance it gets!) Anyway, thankfully the outcome was not worse in both our cases. Time and patience will help everyone move on from this. Don't beat yourself up.

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My Johnny would react in the same way to other dogs (big or small)--he spoke to them in "dog language", and the other owners would get all pissed off and ranty! They don't realize that greys aren't raised solely by humans, they are raised by their brood and they act like it. Johnny had very, very few dogs that he got along with, mostly it was "hey, let's sniff each other and be on our way" kind of interactions. I did consult a dog trainer, she said he was a perfectly normal dog.

Yep, it's loud and scary, and can knock a new grey owner off their even keel, but I think it's worth giving yourself and your boy time to get to know one another and work on positive interactions with calm dogs and good owners. Other grey owners are more understanding, too!

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The big take away from this?  Whoever is walking Sully needs to be hyper vigilant whenever he is interacting - or has the possibilty to interact - with dogs that are smaller than he is.  

This may sound harsh, but the first   *second* mistake was in letting him get close to dog who was not under the control of it's owner.  The first mistake was the other dog owner not having his dog on a leash.  You must have leash laws, even in the UK.  If you don't know what they are specifically, you, as the owner of a reactive dog, need to learn what applies in your area or village.

Short, successful interactions followed by calmly walking away, treats and praise.  And still, for a leash reactive dog, you may need to be very careful on walks for a long time, even after he seems to moved through this phase.

FWIW, the muzzle is not a completely safe alternative.  All my dogs can bite toys, pick up sticks and balls, and yes, bite each other even with their muzzles on.  It's an initial deterrent and a warning to other dog owners that you may have a dog that isn't quite safe to appraoch.  But if the other owner doesn't have his dog under control, it still won't stop dogs from running up to yours and triggering his anxious behavior.

At this point, the help of a certified canine behaviorist who uses only positive reinforcement reconditioning techniques iwill most likely help you the most.  Your adoption group or vet may have a recommendation for a good one on your area.  

If you decide that you just can't continue moving forward with Sully, returning him is a viable option, and NOT an admission of guilt or evidence of failure.  It would simply be a case of not matching the dog and the home properly so that everyone can be happy and thrive due to  circumstances that weren't known at the time of adoption.  In returning him, you set him up for greater success in a completely different situation - one that will better suit his personality and behavioral characteristics.  Consider that you have been his first "foster" home, preparing him for his new life.

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When I'm walking Starry, I'm always ready to get in between him and anything that's coming at him quickly. However Starry is more of a shy kind of dog and isn't aggressive towards other dogs, so I wouldn't be too concerned of him hurting me. 

 

I always try to have him feel he's safe, and it's worked so far with more curious dogs that will go in his face

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I'm worse.   I don't any dog near Maya when walking her.  She was attacked once by an off leash dog.  My first was badly attacked by a dog that escaped the house.  I just say hi and move along.   So sorry  I would be upset too.  But not your fault. 

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